The state revenue department has started listing businesses that have not paid state sales taxes or state employee withholding taxes on its website.
A new law requires the department to publicize the names and addresses of businesses that haven’t been paying—and haven’t been paying for a long time. The list includes more than one-thousand businesses, and apparently many of them are still in operation. The department says those businesses owe thirty to fifty million dollars in taxes.
The department’s Moira Browning says no business hits the list until it has been notified repeatedly by the department that it is in trouble–a process that takes months—and until its state sales tax license is revoked.
She says the revocation sometimes that final step snaps them in line.
Browning says the department hopes the public list does two things—embarrasses businesses into paying up and encourages the public to let the department know if the companies are still operating even without a state tax license. The revenue department cannot shut down a business, but Browning says it can work with cities to get municipal citations.
Citizens can check the web page by going to www.dor.mo.gov and clicking on the appropriate link. The public can report business that are still operating without their state tax license by sending an email to "[email protected]."